How do you respond to politics at work?

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How do you respond to political plotting? It may not be easy but it is necessary to contribute to more positive workplaces! And it’s something you can do, regardless of your role. Every interaction makes a difference. Again, it’s important to acknowledge the others’ underlying need. It might be a need to bond with an ally or the need to …

How to address monsters in meta?

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In this post, let’s take a look at how you could address “monsters in the room” and use “meta-communication” that addresses the how and why. First, it’s crucial to check your attitude: Am I treating the other as a person? Next, you could ask yourself: What do I want for myself, the other, and the relationship? Are you entrenched within …

Is it safe or are there monsters?

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I simply love the Crucial Conversations book that covers how to have any conversation and respond to any reaction, while you stay true to yourself and enhance safety and respect in the relationship. Conversations are often difficult when stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong. Most people avoid them or don’t handle them well, resulting in the silence …

How to train your listening skills?

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The counterpart of Inquiry is Listening. As we are often in telling mode and we value doing over being, listening may not come naturally. I assume that we could all use the exercise below and repeat it from time to time. I myself have to slow down, focus my attention and practice patience. I’m always tempted to jump in and …

Possibility-oriented questions

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In the last post, we have seen that our behavior follows our questions. For instance, I could complain about the lack of response to my emails. I could ask limiting questions that focus on finding the culprit. Why do they not even have the courtesy to reply? Who ignores my emails? These questions will make me feel annoyed and not …

What do you ask to influence others?

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In our culture of telling, to ask can be judged as ignorance while leaders are supposed to know what to do. Telling is expected and respected. And it feels so good to give advice, thinking we have solved someone else’s problem! But wise leaders use questions to engage people and encourage them to take ownership. Looking at the lack of …

The art of asking

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Humble Inquiry is the art of asking questions to which you do not already know the answer. It is building a relationship based on curiosity and interest in the other person, says Edgar Schein in his book Humble Inquiry. Our culture is biased toward telling. When in telling mode, we hope to educate, impress, or to entertain. Western, egalitarian and …

Are you congruent?

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In every interaction there are three levels that influence its effect and meaning: What – the content; the words I say How – the process; how I say it (nonverbal communication) Why – the intention; the meaning, what I am trying to accomplish with this interaction. We tend to focus on What people say and are less aware of the …

Positive Communication

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“Every professional context is created by the conversations that people have. (..) Every moment of interaction is important. Positive communication can help create positive organizational climates, high-quality relationships, and affect a wide range of outcomes such as health, learning, or morale.” That’s what researchers Julien Mirivel and Ryan Fuller found out. Even something as simple as the absence or presence …

Do others still bother you?

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You, too, are probably mistreated in one way or another. You might be overlooked, blamed, discriminated against, criticized in one context or another. But you still have the choice to see the other as a whole person. That is what great people did: they did not become bitter by their unjust treatment and saw others only as demons or caricatures. …

Do you engage in drama?

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A well-known example of Ego-interaction is the “drama triangle”, described by psychologist Stephen Karpman. One of your self-justifying narratives could be the prosecutor, the victim, or the rescuer. The Victim’s stance is “Poor me!” He feels oppressed, helpless, hopeless, ashamed, and can’t make decisions, solve problems, etc. The Victim always finds a Persecutor and a Rescuer – who both perpetuate …

What’s your emotion ratio?

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How do you feel? But how you feel is crucial to developing a positive culture. You cannot fake it till you make it – as the saying goes. People have a radar for authenticity and if you don’t regularly experience positive emotions – you cannot “be the change” and embody positive leadership. What’s your emotion ratio? Barbara Frederickson’s research found …